Unfortunately many parents find that bullying continues after they have asked the class teacher, head of year or head teacher to sort it out.
Contact the governors
After a written complaint to the head, the next step is to contact the chair of governors. You can get his/her name from the school office. Write to him/her at the school address. Explain the background and enclose any letters between you and the head. Ask for an immediate investigation.
It's unlikely that all governors will be made aware of your complaint.
This is because many issues are dealt with as 'Chair's Action' and the chairman may hope to get the matter resolved with the head teacher quickly.
The other reason not all governors will be made aware of the complaint is because the matter may escalate into an exclusion of the bully and if that happens the bullied child's parents will have a right of appeal and there need to be some governors without prior knowledge of the case.
When you complain to the chairman, send a copy of your complaint to your local councillor and ask for a meeting with him/her. Political parties have representatives on school governing bodies and if your local councillor is not one of them, he/she will have contacts who are.
Ask for a copy of your child's school record
Ask for a copy of your child's school record. The governors have a legal obligation to provide this within 15 school days, excluding weekends and holidays, but you will be asked to pay for photocopying. (There is further advice on getting a copy of the record in the section on that topic).
This is also the time to start asking questions of other parents. Your child may not be the only bullying target and you may find other parents are keen to back you up in your complaint.
Complain to the LEA
If this doesn't work, the next step is for you to make a formal complaint to the LA and ask for an investigation to be carried out and a report issued.
In fairness to LAs, it should be said that where pupils are removed from one school to another due to bullying the LA would not necessarily know about the problem unless parents tell them. They do not need to be involved in a school transfer unless there is an appeal for a place.
Ask the LA how many other complaints of bullying have been reported to the LA involving the same school. Ask if the LA education welfare officer (education social worker) has been involved. She has to visit pupils whose parents have removed them and who are at home. This may prompt LA officials into asking if the school has a problem if there have been a series of complaints.
Taking matters further
If you do not feel that your concerns have been properly investigated you can complain to the Local Government Ombudsman - who cannot investigate the internal workings of schools but can look at the LEA's role in investigating your complaint. Also make sure you contact your MP.
Your final recourse is to the Secretary of State, at Sanctuary Buildings, Great Smith Street, Westminster, London or at the DFE, Castle View House, East Lane, Runcorn, Cheshire, WA7 2GJ where your complaint will be dealt with by the Pupils and Parents branch.
Officials can only order action to be taken if your child is still a pupil at the school, so if he/she has been removed, there is unlikely to be anything the Secretary of State will do.